Recently Google revealed its top 3 search ranking factors, and here’s a moment of hard truth – no matter how great your content is, its quality and relevance alone don’t guarantee it will get to the top of search results. The factor that has equal impact on Google search position of a post or an article is the number of backlinks to it. The great news is that you can work on and improve the number of backlinks to your website with the help of a complex of measures called link building. In this article we’re going to go over the following:
What is link building and why is it important for ecommerce website
Why do links occupy such an important place in Google search algorithm? The answer is quite simple – instead of relying on the machine to analyze and rank the content, Google chose to analyze its importance and popularity among users, which manifests itself the best in the number of links to an article. Therefore, the more backlinks, the higher is site authority. What is more, from links search engine can not only get the information on the popular websites and pages but also metrics like trust and spam, which also determine the eventual position in search results.
This makes link building – the activity of encouraging other websites to publish a backlink to your page – a critical part of SEO. It is also a rather time- and effort-consuming process, unless you reserve to black-hat SEO (a rather shady practice which we can’t recommend, because it will eventually get you banned), but the results it will yield are long-lasting, making it eventually worth it. So, to begin mastering the link building, let’s go over the following aspect:
What content generates most links
The type of content you publish largely determines how the audience reacts to it, in particular, whether they would want to give a link to you.
These are four types of information the audience tends to give links to most:
The secret of visuals popularity is that human brain perceives and processes visualized data ways faster than the equal amount of text. Moreover, pictures and diagrams are more descriptive and easier to comprehend – a small icon can convey larger meaning (like denoting Independence Day with a small American flag) and graph curve can show a certain tendency way better than its textual description. Last but not least, visuals are much more compact than text and can be a great way to diversify the content.
All the factors mentioned above make visual content perfect for linkbuilding. And don’t be shy – all kinds of information can be visualized, if you only know how. Here are the best visual assets ideas for ecommerce:
- media – one good photo or short video will inspire more enthusiasm in your audience than plain text. Here you can learn how to create media for ecommerce;
- infographics – even boring statistic data can be entertaining if presented this way;
- diagrams – graphs of all sorts are the best for presenting tendencies or achievements.
To begin with, numerically organized information looks way neater to look at. Also, it is rather captivating – as you see the headline like “Top 10”,“The best / worst 5”, “8 Tips”, etc., you immediately want to learn who is in this list and why they got there. Moreover, lists are a great form of ecommerce content to directly but at the same time obscurely promote your product. Off the top of my head I can suggest the following articles for, let’s say, jewelry retailer:
- Top 10 earrings for Christmas party.
- 8 Birthday Present Ideas.
- Mother’s Day – Best 10 Jewelry your Mother Would Love.
As you can see, this format offers endless possibilities for featuring your product, all you need to do is to use your imagination.
3. Surveys and research
The Internet offers you tons of information, yet at least half of it (and it is mildly said) is fake. What comes to reliable industry-specific content, the chances to find them are close to zero. Still, the demand for them exists. Therefore, if people find a well-written authoritative study, they will definitely want to share it.
Becoming an authoritative source is challenging, time- and effort-consuming, no doubt, but the amount of backlinks it yields will be more than rewarding. What is more, I wouldn’t recommend you not to hurry and issue more than one research in a month – such type of content needs to be created steadily and thoroughly.
Ecommerce surveys and research ideas:
- market survey;
- industry performance survey;
- current tendencies research and analysis;
- comparative analysis of two or more close industries.
4. Guide or instruction
This type of content will always be in demand, since people, well, always need to do something they don’t know how to. A guide or instruction is easy to write a well-written, clear and explicit one will generate you a great number of quality backlinks, eventually opening you the path to joining industry expert ranks.
In spite of the fact that ecommerce seems intuitive and clear to you, don’t forget that there always be novices who are hungry for guidance and knowledge – and give it to them. Here the content ideas are countless and depend on what you or your team are good at – from setting up and managing the online business to how to interact with angry customers.
What are anchors and why are they important for ecommerce link building
There’s one more small but important aspect to learn about before you commence your link building activity – link anchor text. Anchors are words or word combinations that contain the link to your content. As it turns out, they are not only visually highlighted for the readers – they are direct signals to Google ranking algorithms. The search engine will identify the contents of your page with the anchor given for it, and this peculiarity makes the choice of this two-three words the matter of deep consideration – whether it will be the name of your company, your basic keywords or something specific.
On the other hand, the abuse of anchor text will sooner or later be recognized as spam content (the same applies to keywords, as you might already know), so I would strongly advise you not to overdo with anchors in your own text.
How to build links in ecommerce business
Now, as we’ve already learned all the theory about link building in ecommerce, now we can proceed to the actual process of building links. Before we begin there’s one thing we need to make clear – no method or measure will help you if your content is not worth linking back to. As you build your reference profile, there are two options – natural way or natural way plus certain additional activity. In any case, these methods assume that you have high-quality content and this is the first principle of successfully building a reference profile. When you create truly useful articles for your users, they will be shared without any enhancement. On the other hand, you can hype up a mediocre or bad content, but sooner or later Google will notice that and you may get banned.
So let’s imagine you have a great piece of content that you certainly will earn lots of backlinks. Here’s how you can help your content earn the attention it deserves:
1. Email outreach
Outreach is the process of reaching out to the likely minded websites and authors with the intent to let them know about your content. If you had a thought it looks a lot like spamming, you’re not that wrong – if done incorrectly, your outreach letters will be considered spam and sent to the bin without being opened.
Here’s how a good outreach looks:
- Research your community for reliable authors, bloggers and influencers that post similar content;
- Find their email addresses or other forms of contact;
- Send them a personalized (not a standard script) letter, where you show your appreciation for this content and offer yours as an addition to theirs. Here’s an example of such letter:
2. Broken links
Broken links lead to the webpages that are no longer available and give you an error when you click on them. There’s no need to say how bad broken links are for a website, especially an authoritative one. One way to get rid of broken links for content owner is to delete it from the page entirely, together with the information it used to contain; yet it will make the article less informative. Or content owner can change the link for a new one with similar content. This is where you enter.
- Research for broken links with Check My Links or LinkMiner;
- Choose the pages with broken links and content similar to the one you have;
- Contact the site owner or author, informing them about a broken link and offering yours as a substitution. Here’s an example of such letter:
3. Resource pages
Such pages exist as reference ideas for sources of great content in the industry, and the aim of their existence is linking out. Therefore, such pages are a perfect platform to grow your backlinks.
- Research for ecommerce resource pages;
- Analyze it (in Ahrefs) to assess its authority;
- Contact the resource page, offering them your best and most relative content. Here’s an example of a similar letter:
So, this is all to the topic of ecommerce linkbuilding – I hope my insights were useful and will help your online business. If you have any questions or notes, please leave them down below.